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Offline Reformer

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Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 11:44:11 »
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________________
Our Source of Unity & Salvation

[See below “Starbucks & The Two
‘Displaced’ Men.”
]

    Let it be echoed that I’m a strong promoter of both the old and new covenant scriptures, believing them to have come our way through God’s providence. They are our guide, not our Savior.  All the same, I do not believe those scriptures are our source of unity and salvation, but rather the Man those scriptures describe.

    Unity and salvation abounded among the early believers, even though not one word of the new covenant scriptures was written until decades later. If a volume of scripture could save and confer unity, the old covenant scriptures would have been sufficient. Our unity and salvation are not contingent upon our conforming to a volume of letters, as important as they are, but upon the Man who provoked his servants to compose them.

    If I were to tell you in a letter I have a few expensive gifts to give you, free of charge, would you conclude the letter itself would bestow those gifts or the person behind the letter? My letter may instruct you what to do to receive the gifts, but it would not be the provider. And so it is with our biblical letters.

    Just because one’s conception of some biblical topic does not rhyme with someone else’s, does not translate into a disregard for scripture. Even though all of us have a high regard for scripture, yet we are occasionally off-center. We all are fallible, but in different ways and in different doctrinal areas.

    Therefore, our understanding of scripture varies, for not two of us have the same degree of education and insight. If misapplying and misunderstanding scripture is a matter of salvation lost, not one of us will reach heaven.  Even the apostle Peter found it hard to decipher all that Paul wrote. “There are some things in them [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand” [2 Peter 3:16].

    Consequently, the scriptures are not our Savior, nor do they, of themselves, create unity. But the Man in scripture furnishes both! How, then, should we fathom James 1:21 and kindred scriptures? James writes, “Therefore put away filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” [spirits].

   [Side Note: “Soul” and “spirit” are oftentimes used interchangeably. In the passage just quoted, “souls” is best translated “spirits,” as man’s spirit “is the  essence that differs from the body and is not dissolved by death.”—Thayer’s Greek Lexicon.]

    So does the “implanted word” save? Of course. But James is not referring to a volume of scriptures. He is referencing the messages that point to Jesus, our only Savior. Long before James scripted these words, believers had been saved. “Word” is frequently used to depict our Lord or to the dispatches that point to Him. As Peter says, “And this word is the Good News that was preached to you” [1 Peter 1:25].

    John portrays it even better. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” [the Son]. He was in the beginning with God” [John 1:1-2]. John of course is not intimating that which has been written, namely scripture, but a Person. Again, believers had been saved by the “Word”—or “word”—long before John penned these remarks.
______
 
    STARBUCKS & THE TWO “DISPLACED” MEN— The other day, in Philadelphia, two black men were removed from a Starbucks by police at the behest of the store’s manager, who said they had tried to use the bathroom without placing an order.
 
    I’ve been watching this story unfold and twisted by the liberal press and how they “recounted” their version of the incident, and I’m prompted to offer a few observations.
 
    These two men were occupying a table for a period of time and had not ordered anything. After sitting at the table for a while they asked to use the Restroom, but were denied because they had not placed an order.
 
1] Could the incident have been staged for the purpose of contriving a case of racism? Very possible, considering the results that followed.
 
2] Were the two fellows shiftless, without jobs and not looking for work? Perhaps.
 
3] If loafers, a business facility has the right to professionally approach them with a message, “Say, fellows, if you don’t intend to place an order, we ask you to vacate your table so that paying customers can occupy it.”
 
4] If they refuse, shouldn’t the manager notify the police?
 
    I can see the possibility that management did not handle the circumstances adequately, yet the survival of his business depended upon paying customers, not loafers—assuming, of course, these two men were just loafing around. The press reported that one of the fellows said they were “waiting for a business meeting,” or words to that effect.
 
    Business meeting? Neither fellow was dressed in a business suit, or even neat casual clothes. In fact, one of them was wearing either sweat pants or pajamas bottoms, and a long white string was hanging and swinging from the front of whatever he was wearing.
 
    The whole episode is suspicious. But let’s change the picture somewhat. Let’s suppose two “losers”—loafers—white men, had entered the business and occupied a table for a long period of time without ordering anything. They, too, asked to use the restroom. After an hour or so they are still there occupying a table that could be occupied by paying customers.
 
    Management finally asks them to leave. They refuse. Should the police be notified? Of course. Every business desires an attractive environment. The two “losers” who are just “hanging around” are not conducive to an attractive environment.
 
    The police arrive and escorts the two white men off the premises and places them under arrest. No one complains. Protests are not organized. Nothing more is said about it and the liberal press does not even cover the story.
 
    See where I’m coming from? This racism bit has gotten out of control. And the liberal press feeds into it by blowing it out of proportion. So now, because of the systemic negative coverage, Starbucks loses a portion of its reputation. Bottom line: Our society is slowly “going to the dogs,” and common sense has been tossed to the wind. Our society is sinking rapidly.—Buff.
   
« Last Edit: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 11:53:05 by Reformer »

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Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 11:44:11 »

Offline soterion

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #1 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 13:16:15 »
Except for what I am going to detail below I agree with the rest of what you said. Specifically, that the scriptures are not our Savior. Jesus is, for all who believe and for all time.

    Let it be echoed that I’m a strong promoter of both the old and new covenant scriptures, believing them to have come our way through God’s providence. They are our guide, not our Savior.  All the same, I do not believe those scriptures are our source of unity and salvation, but rather the Man those scriptures describe.

    Unity and salvation abounded among the early believers, even though not one word of the new covenant scriptures was written until decades later. If a volume of scripture could save and confer unity, the old covenant scriptures would have been sufficient. Our unity and salvation are not contingent upon our conforming to a volume of letters, as important as they are, but upon the Man who provoked his servants to compose them.

The problem here is you seem to disregard the necessity of the scriptures as the source of our belief in Christ. Not the ultimate source, of course; that would be the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of those scriptures. However, the interface given by God to us that we might believe in Jesus is the scriptures. This is true because of the following:

John 17:8, 20.
For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me...“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word...”

Romans 10:13-17.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

The reason unity and salvation abounded among the early believers without the N.T. having yet been written is because the N.T. was in the mouths of the inspired apostles. Without the preaching of Christ, starting in Acts 2, nobody would have anything to hear to believe and so be able to call on Christ for salvation. And so, without that common faith and salvation in Christ, no unity in Him.

Quote
    If I were to tell you in a letter I have a few expensive gifts to give you, free of charge, would you conclude the letter itself would bestow those gifts or the person behind the letter? My letter may instruct you what to do to receive the gifts, but it would not be the provider. And so it is with our biblical letters.

If I do not conform to the instructions you give regarding how to receive those free gifts, then I do not receive them.

Quote
    Just because one’s conception of some biblical topic does not rhyme with someone else’s, does not translate into a disregard for scripture. Even though all of us have a high regard for scripture, yet we are occasionally off-center. We all are fallible, but in different ways and in different doctrinal areas.

    Therefore, our understanding of scripture varies, for not two of us have the same degree of education and insight. If misapplying and misunderstanding scripture is a matter of salvation lost, not one of us will reach heaven.  Even the apostle Peter found it hard to decipher all that Paul wrote. “There are some things in them [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand” [2 Peter 3:16].

    Consequently, the scriptures are not our Savior, nor do they, of themselves, create unity. But the Man in scripture furnishes both!

Okay, but still, how we handle scripture makes all the difference in the world regarding our salvation and unity. Let me finish the quote from 2 Peter that you started:

2 Peter 3:16b-17.
There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

1 Timothy 4:13-16.
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

2 Timothy 2:15.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Regarding unity, I absolutely believe that depends on conformity to the scriptures. The degree of unity found in a group is consistent with the degree of conformity to its creed, or doctrine. That is true for any group, from a church, to a 4H club, to any political group, etc.

Now, there is doctrinal unity, which I am referring to, and then there is that unity brought about by the presence of the Spirit in all believers. That indwelling of the Spirit is by Christ’s own doing, but it is still dependent on our faith in Him, which in turn is dependent on our conformity to the writings of the apostles regarding Him.

You know that the great lack of unity among those who profess Christ is why some people either give up their faith, never finally come to faith, or go to a group like the Eastern Orthodox, who claim a greater unity not found in protestant and restoration groups. What is the root cause for this lack of unity? How scripture is interpreted. Obviously, whether it is right or wrong, any unity that is being sought is based on conformity to scripture.

People just can’t hold hands if their church music is different.

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #1 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 13:16:15 »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #2 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 13:57:15 »
SOTERION:

    Thank your your well-thought-out input. We are pretty well expressing the same ideas but in a different format. We agree the scriptures, both Old and New, as important as they are, are not our Savior or our salvation.

   Those scriptures point each of us to the One who saves. As I noted, they constitute our guide, our roadmap, our source of information. But not our Savior.

   As to unity, you said, “Regarding unity, I absolutely believe that depends on conformity to the scriptures.”

   For me, I would rephrase that statement, namely, “I absolutely believe unity depends on conformity to the Man of those scriptures who inspired one writer to say, ‘And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony’ ” or unity [Col. 3:14]. A lack of love invites division.

    Conformity to scripture is impossible to attain! That may be our goal, and should be, but as mere humans we will never achieve that goal. God’s grace, of course, will fill in the gaps of those with receptive and sincere hearts.

   Too, the idea of most believers who contend that conforming to scripture is the road to unity too often translates into conforming to one’s conception of scripture.

    That idea or creed always divides—never unites because most of us carry a different conception of scripture. Even in that arena, however, we can be united, for it is my contention that the only unity available is unity in diversity. The early believers were united in spite of the occasional differences between them.

    Anyway, thank you for your thoughts—thoughts well expressed, I might add.

Buff
« Last Edit: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 14:01:20 by Reformer »

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #2 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 13:57:15 »

Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #3 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 15:34:29 »
Quote
John portrays it even better. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” [the Son]. He was in the beginning with God” [John 1:1-2]. John of course is not intimating that which has been written, namely scripture, but a Person. Again, believers had been saved by the “Word”—or “word”—long before John penned these remarks.

The Dabar or LOGOS is never a PERSON but one of the dozens of attributes OF God.  The  WORD of God by the Same Spirit that was in Christ defined the Kingdom of Christ both inclusively and exclusively and OUTLAWED everything humans know as purpose driven DISCORD

Way back when we learned that WORD is what one SPEAKS and so it is with God.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses,        [a Prophet]
        but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.   [a Prophet like Moses]
John 1:18 No man hath seen GOD at any time;
        The only begotten Son,
        which is in the bosom    (Love or Confidence)
        of the Father,
        he hath DECLARED him.

DECLARED IS EXEGEOMAI: TO BE A LEADER, dictate a form or order, religious forms and ceremonies, o explain in detail, to expound, interpret, Kerux or PREACHER.

Word is in the same category as Light, Life, Grace, Spirit, Wisdom, Strength, Power, Judge, Lord and is used of a PERSON only by the Greeks where Mercury, Hermes or Kairos was the ANTI-LOGO.

Is. 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this WORD, it is because there is no light in them.

The LAW prescribed Civil laws and the TESTIMONY was God inspiring the prophets by the SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

God's WORDS become CHRIST'S WORDS which He says are SPIRIT AND LIFE.

John 12:47 And if any man hear MY WORDS, and believe not, I judge him not:
        for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not MY WORDS,
        hath one that judgeth him: the WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN
        the same shall judge him in the last day.

JESUS ALWAYS SAYS THAT THE WORD OF GOD OR HIS WORD IS WHAT IS SPOKEN.

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #3 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 15:34:29 »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #4 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 20:50:26 »

Hi, Kenneth:

   Thanks for commenting. I'm having a problem deciphering your first paragraph, which is...

  "The Dabar or LOGOS is never a PERSON but one of the dozens of attributes OF God.  The  WORD of God by the Same Spirit that was in Christ defined the Kingdom of Christ both inclusively and exclusively and OUTLAWED everything humans know as purpose driven DISCORD."

   Do me a favor and break it down for me, or at least paraphrase it. Okay?

Buff

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #4 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 20:50:26 »



Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #5 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 21:33:24 »
The WORD in Hebrew is what God or man is Dabar speaks. For instance,

Gen. 39:19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the WORDS of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

H1697.  dabar, daw-baw´; from 1696; a word; by implication, a matter (as spoken of) or thing;

WORD in Greek is:
g3056.  logos, log´-os; from 3004; something said

Acts 16:32 And they SPAKE unto him the WORD of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

The same word is used of our speaking:

Acts 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with WORDS, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

God is defined by many words: He is WORD or LOGOS meaning what He Speaks.  He is LIGHT using the analogy of perhaps the sun which gives physical life. He is Mind, Wisdom, Strength, Judge, Fire.  These are understandable by we mere humans as ways one exercises power. 

When men speak WORDS theY do not have power to make spiritual changes although he might say "You're Fired." Most of our power is put into words: requests, commands, instructions.  We just about divested ourselves of a farm worth lots of money by just writing "Accept."   What seemed like a good idea at age 67 is not such a good idea at 87.

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #5 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 21:33:24 »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #6 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 22:00:45 »

Kenneth:

   I reviewed your detailed explanation. Grasping the meaning of “word”—low or high case—is not, or at least should not be, tedious.

Buff 

Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #7 on: Sun Apr 22, 2018 - 22:15:38 »
It is not only hard: it is IMPOSSIBLE based on all of the theologians i know about.

The say that God was the WORD.
The Word was made Flesh
Jesus was made flesh.
Therefore, that makes Jesus GOD IN THE FLESH.
Pretty tight fit if you ask me.

Online Norton

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #8 on: Mon Apr 23, 2018 - 08:37:20 »
It is not only hard: it is IMPOSSIBLE based on all of the theologians i know about.

The say that God was the WORD.
The Word was made Flesh
Jesus was made flesh.
Therefore, that makes Jesus GOD IN THE FLESH.
Pretty tight fit if you ask me.

I have not read many theologians on this subject, but I would think that most of them would say that the mind or will of God is the Word, and that the mind of God was made flesh in Jesus. So that, if you want to know what God would look, think, and act like if He was a human, look at Jesus.

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #8 on: Mon Apr 23, 2018 - 08:37:20 »

Offline Alan

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #9 on: Mon Apr 23, 2018 - 11:04:48 »
In regards to the Starbucks incident, I think the store manager could have handled the situation quite differently but I'm most alarmed at the publicity this incident has received. A few days ago two Florida Deputies were shot dead but that story has received little interest.
Very disturbing.

Offline Reformer

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Re: Our Source of Unity & Salvation—Plus Starbucks
« Reply #10 on: Mon Apr 23, 2018 - 12:22:11 »

ALAN: “In regards to the Starbucks incident, I think the store manager could have handled the situation quite differently but I'm most alarmed at the publicity this incident has received. A few days ago two Florida Deputies were shot dead but that story has received little interest. Very disturbing.”
_____

Right on, Alan. Thanks.

Buff